What are Managerial Skills?

Managerial Skills; A skill is an individual’s ability to translate knowledge into action. Hence, it is manifested in an individual’s performance. Skill is not necessarily inborn. It can be developed through practice and through relating learning to one’s own personal experience and background. In order to be able to successfully discharge his roles, a manager should possess three major skills. These are conceptual skill, human relations skill and technical skill. Conceptual skill deals with ideas, technical skill with things and human skill with people. While both conceptual and technical skills are needed for good decision-making, human skill in necessary for a good leader.

The conceptual skill refers to the ability of a manager to take a broad and farsighted view of the organization and its future, his ability to think in abstract, his ability to analyze the forces working in a situation, his creative and innovative ability and his ability to assess the environment and the changes taking place in it. It short, it is his ability to conceptualize the environment, the organization, and his own job, so that he can set appropriate goals for his organization, for himself and for his team. This skill seems to increase in importance as manager moves up to higher positions of responsibility in the organization.

The technical skill is the manager’s understanding of the nature of the job that people under him have to perform. It refers to a person’s knowledge and proficiency in any type of process or technique. In a production department, this would mean an understanding of the technicalities of the process of production. Whereas this type of skill and competence seems to be more important at the lower levels of management, its relative importance as a part of the managerial role diminishes as the manager moves to higher positions. In higher functional positions, such as the position of a marketing manager or production manager, the conceptual component, related to these functional areas becomes more important and the technical component becomes less important.

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Human relations skill is the ability to interact effectively with people at all levels. This skill develops in the manager sufficient ability (A) to recognize the feelings and sentiments of others; (B) to judge the possible actions to, and outcomes of various courses of action he may undertake; and (C) to examine his own concepts and values which may enable him to develop more useful attitudes about himself. This type of skill remains consistently important for managers at all levels.

A table gives an idea about the required change in the skill-mix of a manager with the change in his level. At the top level, technical skill becomes least important. That is why people at the top shift with great ease from one industry to another without an apparent fall in their efficiency. Their human and conceptual skills seem to make up for their unfamiliarity with the new job’s technical aspects.

A Table of Skill-Mix of different Management levels and Managerial Skills

Different Management levels

Explanation of Managerial Skills

(I) Conceptual skills: Conceptual skills are skills that allow a person to think creatively while also understanding abstract ideas and complicated processes. A person who has conceptual skills will be able to solve problems, formulate processes and understand the relationship between ideas, concepts, patterns and symbols.

Conceptual skills are used frequently in the business world where managers can use their ability to conceptualize to view and visualize the entire company that they work for in order to develop the best plans for the business’s success. Most companies consider conceptual skills to be a requirement for their management staff.

Conceptual Skills
Conceptual Skills

Some people are born with conceptual skills and have an intuitive sense while others must acquire the skill through learning. Other common skills valued with conceptual thinking include critical thinking, implementation thinking, innovative thinking and intuitive thinking.

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For those individuals who are not born with an innate sense of these skills, there are ways to develop the skill set. In an individual’s personal life and professional life, these skills can be developed by first taking the time to look around. Observing the way that other people and other businesses implement strategies as well as reading related publications (in the individual’s field or hobby area) can help increase the range of possibilities a person sees. Then, an individual must be willing to change direction and to pursue new goals whenever an opportunity arises that makes sense. If a problem occurs, do not look for the simple and fast fix. Look for a lasting solution instead that is a best-case scenario.

(II) Human Relations Skills: Human Relations Skills is Interpersonal skills, Interpersonal skills are often called “people skills” because they describe a person’s ability to interact with other people in a positive and cooperative manner. Unlike technical skills that people attend school for, interpersonal skills are considered soft skills that are typically developed over time through interactions.

Interpersonal Skills
Human Relations Skills or Interpersonal Skills

Having good interpersonal skills is desired in most careers. The best members of a team often have strong skills that help them communicate and problem solve with other people in an organization. There is a long list of interpersonal skills, but among the most important for working in a team or workplace are conflict resolution, communication, problem solving and patience.

(III) Technical Skills: Technical skills are a person’s abilities that contribute directly to the performance of a given job, such as the computer, engineering, language and electrical skills. Someone with excellent abilities in any of these technical areas has the potential to secure a career in a related field.

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Technical Skills
Technical Skills

A person with technical writing abilities may get a job creating instruction manuals for complex products and equipment. A data expert may get a specialized job in database management or data analysis. A person with crafting abilities may get a job assembling fabrics or other products. Someone with excellent skills in automobile mechanics may get a position in an automobile repair shop.

Other Managerial Skills also Important

Communication Skills: Communication skills are required equally at all three levels of management. A manager must be able to communicate the plans and policies to the workers. Similarly, he must listen and solve the problems of the workers. He must encourage a free-flow of communication in the organization.

Administrative Skills: Administrative skills are required at the top-level management. The top-level managers should know how to make plans and policies. They should also know how to get the work done. They should be able to coordinate different activities of the organization. They should also be able to control the full organization.

Leadership Skills: Leadership skill is the ability to influence human behavior. A manager requires leadership skills to motivate the workers. These skills help the Manager to get the work done through the workers.

Problem Solving Skills: Problem-solving skills are also called as Design skills. A manager should know how to identify a problem. He should also possess an ability to find the best solution for solving any specific problem. This requires intelligence, experience and up-to-date knowledge of the latest developments.

Decision Making Skills: Decision-making skills are required at all levels of management. However, it is required more at the top-level of management. A manager must be able to take quick and correct decisions. He must also be able to implement his decision wisely. The success or failure of a manager depends upon the correctness of his decisions.

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